Inferior colliculus. I. Comparison of response properties of neurons in central, pericentral, and external nuclei of adult cat

J Neurophysiol. 1975 Sep;38(5):1196-1207. doi: 10.1152/jn.1975.38.5.1196.


The responses of 150 units in the central (ICC), pericentral (ICP), and external nuclei (ICX) of the inferior colliculus of the anesthetized cat were studied in relation to their tuning characteristics and binaural responses to tonal stimuli. Units in ICC were characterized by sharp tuning and binaural responses, while those in ICP and ICX were frequently very broadly tuned with a poorly defined best frequency. Nonetheless, in the latter nuclei a tendency existed for tonotopic organization to occur with high frequencies located externally and low frequencies at the margins of the central nucleus. Tuning measurements were hampered by the common occurrence of habituation in the discharges of single units in ICP and, to a lesser extend, ICX. The majority of units in ICP could be differentiated from those in ICX by their monaural input. Speculations were advanced linking anatomical cell types to physiological responses in the three nuclei and into the possible functional significance of the different behavior of units to tonal stimuli.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Auditory Perception / physiology*
  • Auditory Threshold / physiology
  • Brain Mapping
  • Cats
  • Habituation, Psychophysiologic / physiology
  • Inferior Colliculi / physiology*